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Tiny Home at Sea: Couple’s Sailboat Life Adventure

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Steph and Travis wanted more adventure in their lives, so they bought a sailboat and have been living on it full-time! The lifestyle is filled with freedom and adventure — and plenty of repairs — but they are loving the journey.

Below, you can enjoy a photo tour of their space as well as a Q&A with the couple about their advice for anyone wanting to follow in their footsteps. They have a truly magical space and lifestyle!

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And Why You Need To Be Organized For #BoatLife

Above deck, there’s a large space to hang out.

Time to set sail!

Their kitchen with an oven and microwave.

The sink is decent-sized!

The “head” with some open storage.

Perhaps the tiniest tub of all!

Their below-deck living area. I love the fish!

That looks like a pretty comfy bedroom.

Guest berth with customized pillows.

Steph and Travis.


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A post shared by Sailing Jibsea (@sailingjibsea)


What got you into tiny living?

We both had a passion for traveling and were ready for a big adventure. We had a dream to sail the world and become full-time cruisers, making our sailboat, our home.

Did you build your home or buy it? How long did the process take?

We bought our sailboat. We have outfitted our sailboat, Jibsea, with the personal creature comforts and necessary sailing equipment for our needs as full-time cruisers. We recently re-designed our front cabin, which involved tearing it down and building it back up which took us about a month to complete.

How do you make money on the road?

We are Digital Creators. We share our sailing journey and adventures on Youtube, Patreon, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok
Instagram: @sailingjibsea
Facebook: Sailing Jibsea
TikTok @sailingjibsea

How has tiny living changed your life (for better or worse)?

It’s changed our life for the better. We’ve come to appreciate the things we actually need versus things we thought we needed.

Since space is pretty limited, we’ve learned to make things work with what we have . As we are also living off the grid, we’ve become much more self-sufficient and do a whole lot more “MacGyvering.”

What’s the hardest part of tiny living?

Although we downsized substantially from land life into our tiny floating home, space and finding storage for everything is a challenge. As with any sized home, the longer that you live on it, the more stuff you acquire. So we assess everything that is brought onboard. We have a two-function rule. Everything must serve at least 2 purposes before it can come onboard. On a boat, you need spares of everything, especially boat parts. If something breaks or requires replacement, it may need tending to right away, especially if you’re underway. Parts can be difficult to get and may not be accessible at all, depending on where we are. With respect to personal belongings and being world cruisers, we need to be prepared for all types of weather. We have to be ready for hot and cold climate, which means equipment like heaters, dehumidifier, blankets and big bulky clothing!

What’s the most rewarding part?

We get to bring our home everywhere we go! It’s one thing to travel to different parts of the world, but it’s another to get to sleep in the comforts of your own bed each night.

Any advice for people looking to go tiny?

1. Gradually downsize
If you’re planning on looking to go tiny, especially when it comes to going tiny with someone else, we’d recommend doing it gradually. Living in a small space can be like a pressure cooker. Not only are we living in a tiny home together, we are with each other 24/7 and people often ask us how we don’t drive each other absolutely nuts being attached at the hip AND living in all of 42 ft of boat. I think what helped was how we gradually downsized. We started off living separately (as most couples do) before transitioning to living together in a condo. We gradually sold many of our belongings to get used to the idea of not having as many ’things’ before going tiny (moving onto our sailboat). Once we moved onboard, we each still had our own vehicles and time apart going to work, running errands etc before further downsizing and living together in our small space 24/7.

2. Have open communication and get ready to talk about everything!
There’s nowhere to step out to most of the time, nor is there exactly “another room” that’s further than several steps away to take a breather, so we have found that having complete and open communication helps big time. There’s no bottling things up for us and when someone is feeling any type of way, we ensure that it’s communicated to the other person. At the end of the day, we depend on each other, have our home and lives hanging by a thread (or chain in our case) and there’s no space for any added tension onboard

There may be certain things that people living together may still keep personal…but not on a boat! Get comfortable with all of it…even potty talk. It’s a real thing. Walls are thin and you can hear and smell all the things on living in tiny quarters. For us being on the water, when things break or clog, there’s no calling outside help to fix it and it’s up to the both of us to deal with it. There really are no secrets between us no matter how hard we try.

3. Organizational Skills
As we previously mentioned, space and storage can be a challenge. Sometimes, belongings may need to be stored wherever space will allow, versus where it might make more sense to be stored. For us, we like to know exactly where everything is. We’ve been in mid-passage when equipment or parts have failed and needed repair or replacement in a timely manner. Knowing what we have and where it’s buried, can make all the difference in a sticky situation!

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Our big thanks to Steph and Travis for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

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